Linz is a Danube-side industrial city (with massive steel and chemical plants) located halfway between Salzburg and Vienna. Linz was a Roman Empire frontier station in antiquity, and it had its ups and downs. It was a bustling town with crafts and trade in the Middle Ages, owing to its strategic position on the Danube River and the presence of one of the few permanent bridges. Then came the arrival of a well-known tyrant (Adolf Hitler), who was born two hours away in Braunau but grew up in Linz and selected the city to become the “Führerstadt.” Apart from a few buildings and the major bridge, he was primarily interested in the massive chemical and metal industries: what is now VOEST was the notorious “IG Farben,” and what is now the Chemiepark Linz was the “Hermann Göring Werke.”
The city was brutally attacked during World War II, and it was one of the few cities in Nazi Germany that survived utter devastation. The 1950s growth boosted the economy, but it also made Linz the city with the worst air quality in Austria. The prominence of industry decreased dramatically during the industrial transition in the late 1980s and early 1990s. What’s left is the image of a “steel city,” which Linz utilized.
As a result, Linz lacks a significant “Altstadt,” which may frustrate visitors who are used to the allure of Graz or Salzburg. Linz is predominantly a student and industrial town, and although not very attractive, it is more indicative of a “genuine” Austrian city than Salzburg, which has a fairy tale aspect.
Linz is more interested in its modern attractions, including as museums, architecture, and art. Because to its yearly Ars Electronica Festival, the city receives a lot of worldwide media attention. In September, it also hosts the “Klangwolke” (“sound-cloud”), a large cultural open-air event with contemporary and traditional music as well as a gigantic light display. In 2009, Linz was designated as the European Capital of Culture.
The hotel industry has 4,544 beds, with 2,302 of them housed in the city’s 10 four-star hotels. There are 1,226 bedrooms in nine three-star hotels. There are 472 beds in the seven two and one star hotels. Commercial enterprises are not allowed to use 544 beds. There are no five-star hotels available. Linz had 647,428 nights of stay in 2004. In 2013, the number of overnight stays climbed to 775,396. Of these, 363,425 were in four star hotels, 226,647 in three star hotels, 67,593 in two and one star hotels, and 53,194 in other accommodations.
The city has 544 culinary establishments. Germans (167,639) are the most frequent visitors, followed by Italians (22,886), the Dutch (16,828), and the Swiss (16,828)
- Tourist Information Linz, Hauptplatz 1, +43 732 7070 2009, fax: +43 732 7070 54 2009, e-mail: [email protected] May-Sep: M-F 09:00-19:00, Sa Su holidays 10:00-19:00; Oct-Apr M-Sa 09:00-17:00, Su hoildays 10:00-17:00.